During a recent trip to Northeast Ohio, I visited the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Holden ArboretumI loved my time spent at both gardens, and would gladly visit them again. 

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden (in Cleveland, Ohio) and the Holden Arboretum (in Kirtland, Ohio) make up Holden Forests & Gardens. According to information provided by the garden, Holden Forests & Gardens is the 12th largest public garden in the country and boasts an annual attendance of over 350,000 visitors.

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden History

The story of the Cleveland Botanical Garden began when Eleanor Squire donated 250 horticultural books to the Garden Club of Greater Cleveland. In 1930, several members of the club decided the small library needed a permanent home. An empty boathouse was transformed into a garden center that eventually grew and blossomed into the Cleveland Botanical Garden. 

For more of the story, see “The Cleveland Botanical Garden – History“.

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Highlights of Cleveland Botanical Garden

The Cleveland Botanical Garden boasts 10 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens, which include a rose garden, herb garden, a Japanese garden, and more. Cleveland Botanical Garden is also home to the 18,000-square-foot Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse.

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden Mission Statement

“Advance and inspire a deeper understanding of plants to enhance life.”

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden Vision Statement

“Vibrant green communities and diverse native forests of the Great Lakes region will flourish and sustain life.”

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

"Big smiles come from dirty hands" in the Hershey Children's Garden

I was short on time and almost didn’t go to the Hershey Children’s Garden (part of the Cleveland Botanical Garden). Gratefully, I took the time to explore the garden, and it ended up being my favorite part. Magical doesn’t begin to describe it. 

One of the most charming parts of the garden was the several child-sized archways around the garden. Each archway seemed like an invitation to explore inside. 

Hershey Children’s Garden was one of the first children’s gardens in the country when it opened in 1999, and it continues as an example to follow for children’s gardens around the world.

There is something different to see everywhere you go in the Hershey Children’s Garden. It includes several mini ecological areas, such as a pond, a prairie, and woodland areas.

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

More pictures of Cleveland Botanical Garden

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum is one of the largest arboretums in the country; it spans more than 3,600 acres. Holden’s impressive collection includes 9,400 different kinds of woody plants from 79 plant families.

With 20 miles of trails that lead you through cultivated gardens and native forests, this is the type of garden you could spend days exploring.

During my recent visit, I spent time with the happy butterflies and other pollinators in the Arlene and Arthur S. Holden Jr. Butterfly Garden. The butterfly garden boasts 2 ponds surrounded by colorful gardens designed to attract pollinators. It was in peak bloom during my visit in late July.

During my next visit, I would love to explore the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden, the Kalberer Family Emergent Tower (for breathtaking views 120 feet above the surrounding landscape), and the Murch Canopy Walk (an elevated walkway 65 feet above the forest floor).

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

More pictures of Holden Arboretum

Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum
Cleveland Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum

Did you enjoy seeing what’s growing in the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the Holden Arboretum? Explore more gardens in these posts about Sherman Library & Gardens and Butchart Gardens.

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